Friday, January 23, 2015

Philadelphia Museum of Art

This week has been a hard week. With a sick Baby X and muggy weather, I was more than a little relieved when his mother called and said she was going to keep him home yesterday.

Madeleine and I used this free day to go the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was wonderful of course. There was almost no one there, so Madeleine and I spent 4 hours wandering around. We saw Monets, Van Gogh's, knights' armor, Rocco rooms, just to name a few. After finishing this book, I enjoyed being here even more.

Admiring Van Goghw 

The best part of this day wasn't looking at the art though. It actually was eating lunch. After finishing the painting galleries, Madeleine and I went down to the cafeteria for some food. We grabbed some great mac and cheese and chicken and some pretty gross soup, and sat down next to another toddler and her mom. We said hi to them before sitting down and started to eat (I've been trying to get better at talking to other moms).

 After a few minutes, the mom and I were actually talking! Goal achieved!! We talked about why we were here, (I needed a place for Madeleine to run around, and she missed a class that her daughter was supposed to go to.) and I mentioned that I usually am watching Baby X. She stopped at looked at me, and said, "Wow, you are so put together how do you do it?"

 This was probably totally inappropriate, but I started laughing. I explained to her that I absolutely didn't, and just last night I sat in bed eating pizza in bed crying because the day was so stressful. I told her any day that I get a bra on is considered a good day. She looked at me relieved, and started telling me about how she's pregnant with her second kid. She said she was struggling with having her first kid, and having two just seemed hard. Our conversation after that was wonderful and just what I needed. We swapped numbers and said goodbye.

You know made me realize two things. 
1) I can actually make friends if I put forth effort.
2) It reminded me that most people aren't as put together as they looked. Usually I'm pretty good about remembering this, but  I think I've been forgetting more lately.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ted Talks

This year has been so busy! Way different than I thought it would be at the beginning of the year. Funny how 3 weeks can change so much. But the biggest change is...

Matt got his Masters! Woohoo! 

Since he is getting his PhD, there wasn't any formal celebration, so we made him a hat and celebrated at home. He did great and I'm so glad his hard work paid off. 

On other notes, our new year resolutions are paying off. One of the ones has been walking up early. Most people clean there home before bed, but I'm so exhausted that I have found cleaning in the morning is a bit easier. Most of the house only takes about 15 minutes to clean and then I head to the kitchen to do dishes. Without a dishwasher, dishwashing usually takes quite a bit of time, around 45 minutes.

I love this time, and I usually put on Ted talks. I love Ted talks. I started to listen to Ted talks in college (while washing dishes) and I absolutely love them. I've heard several hundred, and I wanted to share some of my favorites.

My very favorite is this one by Andrew Solomon on depression. It is sad, but I loved the insight that I gained from listening to it. He defines and shows how depression is a mental illness.

While this is not the most entertaining Ted talk, I think Jimmy Wales, founder of wikipedia, is a good listen. I use wikipedia all the time, and I love hearing how it works and what they stand for. He is not the most entertaining speaker so it might seem a little long.

I'm not a fan Eat, Pray, Love but Elizabeth Gilbert's talk on creativity is brilliant. I refer to her talk regularly in conversations and it has changed how I view creativity and failure.

This one is just quirky. Pam Warhurst talks about how she turned her town into a farm. I love how it shows community coming together and how a few people can make big changes.

I don't know who Amanda Palmer is, but her talk The Art of Asking is great message. She talks about how people are willing to give and help and all you need to do is ask. I love this message partly because she shows how people are usually good.

And last is Sarah Kay's slam poetry. I actually liked it enough that I bought her book with this poem in it. It's lovely and powerful.

Do you have any favorite Ted talks? I'm always up for suggestions. And if you don't, you should check some of these out and let me know what you think. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015


The weather is pretty dang cold here so we've been cuddling up inside. Baby X thankfully learned to play on his own and is crawling, giving me a lot more freedom! I've been curling up under blankets while the tiny people play in the room. It's been great! Thanks to that, I've been reading a lot. So here are the books I've read since the New Year.

I read all of this series. I really enjoyed the first book. I thought it was a great book about finding yourself after heartbreak. I think it should have ended two chapters before it did. The 2nd book is the main guy's story that runs parallel to the second half of the first book. I didn't find it nearly as compelling. The novella was trash. Sorry.

I didn't like this one much. I saw the movie on the way home from Florida. I wasn't impressed with the movie or the book, but I'm actually really interested in the sequel. I'm planning on reading it as soon as our library gets it in.

I started a book club yesterday and selected this book for the first month. I had read this a few years ago and was happy to discover that it was a good as I remembered. It's the autobiography that Memoirs of a Geisha was based on. She wasn't very happy with Memoirs so she wrote her own book to go with it. Her life is fascinating and I love the female dominate culture that she life revolves around.

I love this book. I'm half way through it right now. It has jammed with information, so I don't read more than a chapter a day. I've been learning a lot about art and I think I'm going to read more about some of these artist after I finish it.

This book has been great for me to read, although I'm not a fan of the writing. I'm only a few chapters in. It's really weird for me to read it. I am familiar with most of the music and artist in the books, but yet, I don't know any of the history or the meaning behind it. It's been interesting and fun to give history a soundtrack. Another thing that has really stood out at me is how intertwined music and art was. I can list off many famous current singers, but not one painter or sculpture. I only know a few photographers and that's because I have sought them out. That's something I'm going to try to fit.

I asked the librarian earlier this week for a life changing book. He said he couldn't think of one, but that he loved this book. The writer is very sarcastic so I decided it was better to read out loud. I asked Matt to read it with me last night and the first chapter was pretty amusing. I'm excited to see where it takes us.

I'm so close to done on this book. I've really enjoyed reading it, and probably would be done with it if Madeleine would stop moving it around the house. It's been an interesting read about feminism. I hadn't realized how much of the history of feminism I didn't get taught in school. It made me realize that I should know more about women's history and that I need to teach it to our kid.

Do you have any book suggestions? I'm looking for books that make me think or a good well-written novel.

Monday, January 5, 2015

3 Minimizing things

2015 has been pretty awesome so far. I really love our new year's resolutions. I'd share them but Matt and I are still refining them so we have solid ways to check our progress.

I wanted to share a few things.

This ebay listing is crazy! Matt and I have chatted about it all weekend. I can't imagine selling everything on ebay at once!

Also, I read this article about resetting at zero once a week. I grew up with having the house completely clean once a week, and I have never been a fan of it. But I do like the idea of starting the week off with a blank slate. Empty email, organized fridge. No to do list etc. It just sounds like a great way to stay on top of things and have time for yourself.

Finally I'm gearing up for the no impact man challenge that I'm planning on doing next week. I'm hoping to write a blog post on it in the next few days!

What are your new year resolutions? Do you find yourself refining them after the new year?